Shallow Water Combat Submersible
The Shallow Water Combat Submersible (SWCS) is a manned submersible and a type of swimmer delivery vehicle that is planned to be used to deliver United States Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions. It will replace the current Mark 8 SEAL Delivery Vehicle. The Navy planned to introduce the SWCS in 2018, although "slippage in the development" has delayed its introduction until 2019. As of October 2018, two subs have been delivered to the Navy while another two were in production. The SWCS will serve alongside the Dry Combat Submersible (DCS), a midget submarine with a dry interior being developed by Lockheed Martin as a replacement for the cancelled Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS).:7
|Builders:||Teledyne Brown Engineering|
United States Navy|
Royal Navy (planned)
|Preceded by:||SEAL Delivery Vehicle|
|Cost:||$383 million (program cost)|
|On order:||7 USN, 3 RN|
|Type:||Submersible, diver propulsion vehicle|
|Displacement:||4.5 tonnes (5.0 short tons)|
|Length:||6.8 meters (22 ft)|
|Beam:||1.5 meters (4.9 ft)|
|Draft:||1.5 meters (4.9 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Lithium-ion batteries powering electric motors|
|Speed:||6 kn (11 km/h)|
|Test depth:||>190 feet (58 m)|
|Complement:||6 (2 crew, 4 passengers)|
|Sensors and |
|Inertial Navigation System, high frequency sonar for obstacle/mine avoidance and navigation, GPS|
|Armament:||SEAL team personal weapons, limpet mines|
The SWCS program was initiated in 2008, after the cancellation of the ASDS, the anticipated replacement for the SEAL Delivery Vehicle. Teledyne Brown Engineering was awarded the $383 million contract to develop the SWCS in 2011, which provides for the construction of 10 submersibles and one training vessel, the first of which was supposed to enter service in 2018. However, delays and cost overruns began as early as 2015, leading Congress to halve the funds available for the program in the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act. As of May 2018, the prototype boat had been built and was undergoing testing, while introduction was pushed back to 2019. By October, two subs had been delivered to the Navy. while introduction was pushed back to 2019.
In September 2018 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale of 3 SWCSs to the United Kingdom for a total of $90 million.
The SWCS is 12 inches (30 cm) longer and 6 inches (15 cm) taller than its predecessor, the Mark 8 SDV. The SWCS will have a longer range and higher payload capacity than its predecessor. As such, it will also be about 4,000 pounds (1.8 t) heavier than its predecessor. Its hull is made from aluminium. The SWCS will also have more advanced computer systems and better navigation, with new systems including a "sensor mast" with an electro-optical periscope, wireless and wired communication between crew members, sonar detectors, and sonar-assisted automatic docking. The computer bus and sensor mast are designed as modular systems so that individual sensors or systems can be swapped out as required by an individual mission and upgraded as desired. Like its predecessor, the SWCS will carry six SEALs: a pilot, a co-pilot/navigator, and four passengers. The SWCS can be deployed from surface ships, land, and Dry Deck Shelters (DDS) on submarines, although the third option is preferred for stealth reasons.
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